The National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) has said that landlords and tenants alike will be disappointed by the Budget this week.
Before the Budget, the NRLA had called on chancellor Rishi Sunak to provide extra help to landlords and tenants alike to tackle the problem of rising rental debt during the pandemic, a problem that was both pushing tenants deeper into the financial mire and depriving landlords of income.
However, no extra financial support was forthcoming in the statement, leaving NRLA Chief executive Ben Beadle to comment: “The Chancellor’s pledge to do whatever it takes to support those affected by the pandemic will ring hollow for thousands of tenants and landlords across the country.”
He said the government has “acknowledged” that private renters have been among those hardest hit in the past year, with most unable to get help from local authorities.
“If the government does not provide help to tackle rent arrears, “many tenants face the prospect of losing their homes and having damaged credit scores, which will undermine the Government’s efforts to help generation rent become generation buy,” Mr Beadle added.
In its pre-Budget submission, the NRLA had called on the chancellor to offer help in the form of government-backed interest-free loans to tenants along the lines of the Welsh model.
The Welsh scheme will see loans being charged at an interest rate of one per cent APR to be paid Back over a period of five years. It is managed by seven credit unions based in Wales and will be open to new applicants until the end of this month.
Policy officer for Credit Unions of Wales Claire Savage called the loans a “financial lifeline” for those who are in rental arrears and unable to access help from other sources.